By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
The Jewish Federation’s good works are something that was inculcated within our family. As we grew, we became more aware of the wonderful opportunities that Federation makes possible for our communities here and everywhere.
One can drive almost anywhere in Dallas and view the signs depicting the Federation’s generosity by funding programs for constituent agencies and partners, as well as our synagogues.
Of course, the Federation works in tandem with community volunteers without whom these good works would not be possible.
Cynthia Feldman selected as Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland honoree at International Lion of Judah Conference
Cynthia Feldman has been selected as the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland (KWF) honoree at the upcoming International Lion of Judah Conference later this year.
The KWF Award is named after the founders of the Lion of Judah international giving program, Norma Kipnis-Wilson and Toby Friedland, z”l, and recognizes extraordinary women who have set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism.
More than 2,000 of the most passionate, dynamic Jewish women from across the U.S. and Israel will go to New York City to celebrate the organization’s 42nd anniversary at the International Lion of Judah Conference Sept. 7-10, 2014.
“Cynthia is a ‘woman of valor’ with a lifetime commitment to the Jewish world and has made a difference locally and across the globe; she embodies the spirit and vision of tzedakah and tikkun olam,” said Cindy Sweet Moskowitz, board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.
With a long resume of community involvement, Cynthia is currently in her second year as Major Gifts co-chair for The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, where she has used her leadership in creative ways to address community challenges and issues.
In addition to this role, she has been co-chair of the Women’s Event and not only participated, but also was instrumental in the success of the Women’s Division missions to Charlotte, N.C. and Philadelphia.
During the Federation’s Centennial Year in 2011, she was co-chair for creating the Centennial Exhibit: “A Timeline of Jewish Dallas.” It was a traveling exhibit throughout the Dallas community, which is now housed in perpetuity at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.
Cynthia has served on the boards of the American Jewish Committee, the Aaron Family JCC and also co-chaired the educational director search for Congregation Shearith Israel.
“We are delighted that Cynthia has been selected to receive this prestigious award and honored that we have the privilege of sharing in her talents and gifts at the Federation,” said Mariam Shpeen Feist, chief development officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. “Her dedication as both a leader and philanthropist has made an impact all-around the Dallas Jewish Community.”
Originally from Kansas, Cynthia earned a BA in environmental design from the University of Kansas, and a BA in architecture from Kansas State University. She and her husband, Robert have been married for 31 years and have three adult children.
The Lion of Judah Giving Society recognizes women who contribute $5,000 or more to the Federation’s Annual Campaign each year. Lions are strong, committed women of all ages from around the world who play an essential role in the Federation’s work of creating social justice, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, preserving human dignity and building Jewish identity. Today, more than 16,000 women worldwide proudly wear the Lion of Judah pin to signify their commitment.
To register to attend and or to learn more about the conference, visit www.lionconference.org
Young Adult Division to host 200 volunteers for a day of giving back
The Young Adult Division (YAD) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas will host approximately 200 volunteers from across the greater Dallas area to take part in Mitzvah Day 2014 Sunday, June 22.
Event Co-chairs Lindsay Bendorf and Jaycee Greenblatt and YAD Co-chairs Brett Diamond and Sarah Pailet invite young adults ages 22-40 — singles, couples and families to volunteer.
Volunteers will blanket the city, helping with one or more mitzvot (good deed opportunities) — from coaching special needs athletes, to cleaning a community garden, to visiting with seniors at a senior care facility — all to benefit local nonprofit organizations.
“Mitzvah Day is our day to offer help to those in need in our community” said Bendorf. “It is always exciting and eye-opening to get together with other young adults and learn more about the needs in the Dallas area. There are many great organizations helping people on a daily basis, and it is our responsibility to take some time and lend a hand. If you have children, bring them and make arts and crafts projects to benefit the children of Vogel Alcove and Medical City.”
There are two shifts available for volunteers — 10-11: 30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Participants can select one shift or help out at both. A free kosher lunch will be served for all volunteers from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, 7900 Northaven Road.
Volunteers will support CHAI House Todd & Levy, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Jewish Family Service, Jewish Special Athletics Club (JSAC), Medical City, Intown Chabad’s iVolunteer, The Legacy at Preston Hollow, The Legacy Willow Bend, PJ Library and Vogel Alcove.
In addition, snack items for “Bye-Bye” Bags are being collected at all Mitzvah Day sites and at the lunch, to help children at the Vogel Alcove who may need another snack before they return home or back to the shelter.
“The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Young Adult Division crosses all barriers by inviting young adults to volunteer their time in our community through Mitzvah Day. Each year, it inspires me and our leadership to see so many emerging leaders give of their time to help others,” said Cindy Sweet Moskowitz, board Chair, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.
For more information, contact Tanya Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-615-5272. To register as a volunteer, visit JewishDallas.org.
PJ Library of Dallas honored as ‘Best in Class’ at PJ Library conference
PJ Library, a program of the Center for Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, was recognized for two outstanding achievements at this year’s sixth annual International PJ Library Conference held in April in Baltimore.
Among those attending the conference were professionals from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Israel.
PJ Library is a free program for the children of Greater Dallas. Age-appropriate Jewish books or music CDs are sent each month to children who are being raised in the Jewish tradition and are between the ages of six months and 8 years old.
More than 1,700 children in the Dallas community are a part of PJ Library, which is made possible through a generous grant from the Mankoff Family Foundation.
The Dallas PJ Library Ambassador team, co-chaired by Kim Velevis and Laura Weinstein, was hailed as a model for volunteer engagement. The 16-member committee runs monthly playgroups and a yearly birthday bash. In addition, they act as connectors at each monthly PJ event to read stories, implement activities and encourage families to meet one another.
“We are honored to be recognized internationally for all of our hard work and are appreciative of our committee member ambassadors who dedicate their time to making PJ Library such an impactful and important program,” said Weinstein.
PJ Library of Dallas was also recognized for its partnership with Medical City Children’s Hospital (MCCH). PJ Library families have collected toys and books for MCCH patients and their siblings. In February, PJ Library held its monthly story time at MCCH where made cards for patients and nurses, listened to a PJ Library story and participated in a Teddy Bear Clinic.
As a continuation of this partnership, June 22, for Young Adult Division Mitzvah Day, conducted by the Jewish Federation, PJ Library children will help create welcome bags for MCCH to distribute to children who come to the emergency room.
“When we attended our first PJ Library International Conference three years ago, we were learning how to create a successful PJ Library program in Dallas. Now, Dallas is recognized as ‘best in class’ among communities around the world. Other professional and lay leaders inundate our local PJ team with questions about how they can re-create our successes in their communities,” said Meyer Denn, executive director of the Center for Jewish Education.
The Harold Grinspoon Foundation sponsors the Annual International PJ Library Conference and the PJ Library program.
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